Contact us today
01273 676 712

Call us today on

01273 676 712

Latin America Antarctica Cruises Argentina Brazil Carretera Austral Chile Costa Rica Crossing Borders Ecuador & Galapagos Nicaragua Peru Portugal Spain Inn to Inn Holidays Explorer Self-Drive Families
The Pothole Contact us Request a callback My Pura Who we are What we believe Our customers Protection Terms & conditions Business to business Health & safety Pics & social media How we work Privacy policy Independent reviews Expert guides

Picos de Europa Centenary

Written by Thomas Power | 2nd January 2018 |

Category: Journal, Places

Mote picos 1 320180829 76980 16gaafr

I should say straight away that luxury in the Picos is not related to thread count, and that there isn’t a spa in sight: what’s luxurious about a holiday here is the opportunity to disconnect from your everyday and to reconnect with yourself or with each other; to switch off the media and switch on the simple pleasures of walking through gorgeous scenery, staying in village inns, and listening to the sound of cowbells echo around the valley. I’m talking about the luxury of not having a mobile signal, of having the time to stop and enjoy wild flowers, strike up a conversation, or sit awhile to take in the views.

The first national park ever to be created in Spain was in the northern mountains of the Picos de Europa in 1918. To this rural area the new concept - directly imported from the USA - of 'National Parks' was overlaid onto an ancient culture of semi-nomadic sheep and goat shepherding.

2018 is therefore the centenary of the Picos being granted protected status. That’s not the reason to go, however, for this simple rural area isn’t about to put on a centenary-related song and dance. The list of reasons to go is long, and includes flower-carpeted meadows, wooded valleys, spectacular mountains, and a gentle, natural pace of life.

On Pura Aventura’s exclusive walking route along the Liebana Valley, your luggage is taken ahead of you each day to that night’s village inn, while you and your hiking boots take in the medieval town of Potes, the natural amphitheatre at Fuente Dé and the renowned Cares Gorge. Detailed walking notes are provided and you can expect to be walking for around five hours a day.

Picnic lunches are packed for you – think wood-baked bread, local cheeses and chorizo eaten in a mountain meadow. Each night’s accommodation is comfortable and charming, all located in tiny villages with their own distinct character, and providing the warmest of welcomes. After a good day’s exercise in the crisply fresh mountain air, tuck into a hearty home-cooked meal, after which we defy anyone not to sleep like a log.

The weather in the Picos is fickle, but our route follows the more protected southern part of the mountains where sunny days and meadow flowers can be expected in May and June. Go in April and you’ll see snow on the peaks and may even walk through some during your week’s route. We love the autumnal forest colours in September (the driest month) and October.

For more traditional luxury, top and tail your time in the Picos with a boutique hotel stay in either Santander (2 hours’ drive) or Bilbao (2 ½ hours) and enjoy the sophistication of Spanish city life too.

Begin your own personal adventure...

Spain asturias picos de europa ario sunset hikers
Picos de Europa Explorer
Highlights of the Picos mountains by car
Walk across high mountain meadows and taste cider fresh from the barrel in the company of villagers, as you discover the s...
Read more »
Spain picos de europa lakes of covadonga
Picos de Europa Guided Inn to Inn
A guided walking holiday celebrating the centenary of the Picos de Europa National Park
Follow your guide along an exclusive route by Pura Aventura, through the high mountains and valleys of the Picos. Walk fro...
Read more »
Spain picos ruben milking belbin
Picos Uncovered
Culture, food and walking
Walk across high mountain meadows to share lunch with the shepherds and taste cider fresh from the barrel in the company o...
Read more »
Book Subscribe to The Pothole »